WHAT, WHERE, AND WHEN IN OLD KENILWORTH:
Kenilworth streets tell America’s history – Part 1 of 2
Have you ever noticed how many of our town’s streets speak to us about our nation’s history? This is no happenstance. It was planned that way well over 120 years ago by the founders of New Orange in the 1890s – which became the Borough of Kenilworth in 1907.
COLUMBUS AVE. is named for Christopher Columbus who “sailed the Ocean blue in 1492.” Hidden away, go up N. Michigan Ave past the water tower, then turn left onto Mark Rd.
CONCORD and LEXINGTON AVES. commemorate the “shot heard ‘round the world” when colonists first fought British troops at the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 18775 in Massachusetts. Lexington Ave. is off S. Michigan, a block past the blinker light. But you won’t find Concord Ave. It ran east to west in the north end of town through what is now part of Black Brook Park. It was never constructed but appears on early maps.
WEBSTER AVE. was a block long and was to run between N. 19th and 20th streets near the water tower, but it, too, was never constructed. It honored Daniel Webster, a US Senator (MA) who is credited with forging the Compromise of 1850 concerning slavery in the territories.
LAFAYETTE AVE. is a tribute to Marquis de Lafayette of France. In 1776, at age 19, he was commissioned a major general to aid America in its War for Independence.
SHERIDAN AVE. recognizes the service of Philip Sheridan, a Union Army Civil War general. He later had much to do with setting aside Yellowstone National Park.
MONROE AVE. bears the name of America’s fourth president, James Monroe. Famous for the “Monroe Doctrine” warning against foreign interference in North and South America.
FRANKLIN AVE. honors statesman Benjamin Franklin. It was to run from N. 7th to N. 14th St. A one-block portion exists between N. 13th and 14th streets, just south of Monroe Ave.
WASHINGTON AVE., one of our widest thoroughfares, salutes George Washington – head of the Continental Army, our first president, and “Father of our Country.”
JEFFERSON AVE. commemorates Thomas Jefferson, known as the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, our third president, and acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase.
FEDERAL AVE. speaks to the determination of the “Founding Fathers” to have a strong federal (national) government with many powers remaining with the states.
Research provided by Walter E. Boright, Ed. D., historian, and Historic Signs, Inc. Unless otherwise noted, data credited to American Biography, early Kenilworth maps, and personal knowledge. Portrait credits: Wikipedia, on line, public domain. Street sign photo credits: Walter Boright. Persons with inquiries about this or other aspects of Kenilworth history may contact Dr. Boright at email@example.com or 908-256-5200.